Aurangabad, Feb 22:
The journey through buses of Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) is considered safe. However, it appears that the administration is not paying attention to maintain the identity. The reason is that many ordinary category buses are being operated with an outdated fire extinguisher while some are running without it.
This was found in a survey carried out of some buses by this newspaper at Central Bus Stand (CBS) on Monday afternoon.
In the survey, it was found that there were fire extinguishers in Shivneri and Shivshahi buses. In contrast, ordinary and ‘MS’ body buses had outdated fire extinguishers or no such equipment.
How the driver and conduct will handle the situation if any fire breaks out in any bus is a billion-dollar question.
Fire fighting equipment were found lying in the cabin of some bus drivers. When asked drivers and conductors were asked about fire extinguishers, they replied that they have to ply whichever bus is allotted. They said that it is the responsibility of depot employees to ensure the fire fighting equipment's availability.
The survey was done of five buses (MH-14-BT 2505, MH-20--BL-3595, MH-06-AS-8730, MH-20-AS-8121 and MH-20-EL-2452). The first aid box is also missing from many buses, while some buses had empty boxes. Some conductors said that medical aid is kept with the driver because passengers carry them without permission.
The cabin of security guards is between the bus stand and depot. It has seen that nobody is stopped at Depot's entrance and ask the reason for their entry. Anybody can go near the buses.
Wi-Fi service which was installed in the buses for passengers entertainment is out of order. The MSRTC administration appears ignoring hygiene in many buses.
Depot Manager (CBS) S A Shinde said that security guards and watchmen were deployed in the bus stand.
“No outsider is given entry at the depot. We check the time and again whether the bus door is open,” he added.